Pepsi’s relaunch keeps it in touch

I was surprised by Alan Mitchell’s comments in his column: “Pepsi still losing the Cola wars.” He perceives there to be no clear explanation for Pepsi’s decision to replace the 12- year-old “New Generation” slogan. Surely the explanation is that Pepsi needs to continue developing to keep Coca-Cola off balance.

If we consider the UK, far from losing the cola war Pepsi holds the only branded cola that has been stealing market share over the past three years, Pepsi Max.

The parent brands – Pepsi and Diet Pepsi – though declining fractionally, are losing brand share at a fifth of the rate of Coca-Cola. Not bad in this phenomenally competitive market.

Secondly, the argument that the new line, “Change the Script” is a confused stumble away from a new generation theme is erroneous. Let’s face it, the new generation want to “Change the Script”.

If Pepsi changes its line is this not the clearest indication that it is staying in touch with the vision of its target audience?

Does Coca-Cola really have next-millennium vision? Mitchell presents us with conclusive evidence that Coca-Cola has a millennium vision by quoting the ambition of Roberto Goizueta, chief executive of Coca-Cola, who wants Coca-Cola to tackle its main rival, tap water! Come on Alan, if that isn’t taking your eye off the ball, what is?

Pepsi-Cola has a winning brand formula, a newly developed style and an innovative, energetic marketing stance.

Rather than belittle this carefully considered move toward crucial brand differentiation I suggest it be applauded.

If there is any fog or confusion it is the fog of brands and own brands left behind in red. Pay homage to Coca-Cola in the new millennium – if you can find it.

Chris McCann

Senior account manager

KLP

London W2

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